What should i do about temps?

BirdieF18

New Member
I have got everything i need for my chameleon i have just set things up and getting temps right before the chameleon comes i have a bit of a dilemma. For the top basking spot i am using a 100w bulb and i was wandering if chameleons climb the mesh on the screen enclosure because i had it a few inches above the screen and i tested it by putting the back of my hand under the screen and after about thirty seconds i took my hand off because it was starting to sting the thermometer read 83 degrees. I then hung the lamp instead of clamping it on the ceiling and when i tested it didn't hurt but the temperature gage was just cracking 75 at best! I am wandering if i could put the lamp closer and get good temps i am just scared the chameleon will climb on the mesh and get a nasty burn i really don't want this to happen. Should i just leave it up and get not great temps. Can i please get some advice thanks.
 

suzi

Avid Member
What I do is use a light dome with a dimmer, this way you can adjust the temp accordingly, it works great. You can buy them at LLL Reptile
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
For the top basking spot i am using a 100w bulb and i was wandering if chameleons climb the mesh on the screen enclosure because i had it a few inches above the screen and i tested it by putting the back of my hand under the screen and after about thirty seconds i took my hand off because it was starting to sting the thermometer read 83 degrees. I then hung the lamp instead of clamping it on the ceiling and when i tested it didn't hurt but the temperature gage was just cracking 75 at best! I am wandering if i could put the lamp closer and get good temps i am just scared the chameleon will climb on the mesh and get a nasty burn i really don't want this to happen. Should i just leave it up and get not great temps. Can i please get some advice thanks.
First, remember that you as a mammal with a steady body temp of 98.6 F will sense heat on your skin differently than a cham in the same spot. A cham's body temp is going to be a lot lower than yours, so what will feel hot to it will be different. Testing the basking heat with your hand is not going to work. Also, the mesh aborbs heat raising its own temp above that of the air, which is what most normal thermometers measure. And, how quickly the mesh heats up will also depend on the temp in the room itself and how fast the mesh radiates the heat away. Small thin wires lose heat pretty fast. Most chams are not going to burn themselves on wire mesh at these temps.

The best way to know for sure what the temp at the basking spot where your cham will sit is to measure the surface temp of the perch there. When your cham sits on this perch, its skin will start absorbing heat. It is cumulative over time...the longer the cham sits under the heat the warmer it will get to some point (and again the overall temp in the room will affect this). You will want to measure the surface skin temp of your cham, not the air around it, the mesh, or the light bulb. Get a non-contact temp gun. They are not expensive these days and are quite accurate (check tempgun.com or large herp supply sites for them). They measure the surface temp of whatever you point them at.
 

suzi

Avid Member
I totally agree, I use the PE2 and it is a great tool, I got mine on Amazon for 35 bucks


First, remember that you as a mammal with a steady body temp of 98.6 F will sense heat on your skin differently than a cham in the same spot. A cham's body temp is going to be a lot lower than yours, so what will feel hot to it will be different. Testing the basking heat with your hand is not going to work. Also, the mesh aborbs heat raising its own temp above that of the air, which is what most normal thermometers measure. And, how quickly the mesh heats up will also depend on the temp in the room itself and how fast the mesh radiates the heat away. Small thin wires lose heat pretty fast. Most chams are not going to burn themselves on wire mesh at these temps.

The best way to know for sure what the temp at the basking spot where your cham will sit is to measure the surface temp of the perch there. When your cham sits on this perch, its skin will start absorbing heat. It is cumulative over time...the longer the cham sits under the heat the warmer it will get to some point (and again the overall temp in the room will affect this). You will want to measure the surface skin temp of your cham, not the air around it, the mesh, or the light bulb. Get a non-contact temp gun. They are not expensive these days and are quite accurate (check tempgun.com or large herp supply sites for them). They measure the surface temp of whatever you point them at.
 
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